Bishop Gérald Caussé Shares Message on the Restoration
By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer
- The principle of an apostasy and a subsequent latter-day restoration of gospel truths is central to the message of the Church.
- Knowledge that God and Jesus Christ are separate and distinct and each has a body of flesh and bone is a critical doctrine of the Restoration.
- The coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the priesthood are also key elements in the doctrine of the Church.
While the Church shares values with other Christians—such as a high regard for the family and caring for the poor and the needy—it has doctrines that are incompatible with other faiths, Bishop Gérald Caussé said.
He explained, “It is unthinkable to most people that there has not been an uninterrupted succession of authority since Jesus Christ.”
Yet the principle of an apostasy and a subsequent latter-day restoration of gospel truths is central to the message of the Church, he said.
Bishop Caussé, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric and a member of the Missionary Executive Council, spoke January 14 at the seminar for new missionary training center presidents and visitors’ center directors.
Among the critical elements of the doctrine of the Church that are an essential contribution of the Restoration are a correct knowledge of the identity of God, that God and Jesus Christ are separate and distinct, each with a body of flesh and bone, Bishop Caussé said.
Such knowledge “influences our very relationship with our Heavenly Father and with Jesus Christ,” he said.
Other key elements in the doctrine of the Church are the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the latter days and the restoration of the keys of the priesthood, he said.
“The Book of Mormon is about the doctrine of Christ,” he declared.
“If we just had the Book of Mormon and no priesthood keys restored, how constraining [that would be], because we would know what we have to do, but we couldn’t do it,” Bishop Caussé remarked. “And this is exactly what led to Joseph Smith asking about and receiving the Aaronic Priesthood, because translating the Book of Mormon, he knew baptism was fundamental.”
In response to his asking, Joseph subsequently received visits, in turn, from John the Baptist; Peter, James, and John; Moses; Elias; and Elijah, “each carrying keys that were fundamental to the Restoration,” Bishop Caussé said, including keys that related to the ordinances of salvation and the turning of the hearts of fathers to their children and children to their fathers.